U.S. 'prepared to act' if Syria cease-fire not honored, Haley says

By Sommer Brokaw  |  Updated March 13, 2018 at 6:08 PM
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March 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday the U.S. is prepared to take military action if the U.N. Security Council doesn't strictly enforce a cease-fire in Syria.

Haley said Russia committed 16 days ago to a 30-day cease-fire "to stop the killing in Syria" and allow food and medicine to get to starving families in the nation. But Russia has failed to honor this agreement, "as bombs continue dropping on the children in eastern Ghouta," she said.

Referencing U.S. airstrikes on Syrian targets last year, Haley said the United States wouldn't hesitate to act similarly to enforce a cease-fire.

"Almost a year ago, in the aftermath of the Syrian regime's sarin gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun, the United States offered a warning to this Council," Haley said at Monday's U.N. Security Council briefing. "The Security Council failed to act. And the United States successfully struck the airbase from which [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] had launched his chemical attack. We repeat this warning today."

Haley added that the United States has a new draft of a cease-fire agreement she thinks will bring temporary peace to Syria. In the current agreement, Assad, Russia and Iran have taken advantage of loopholes, saying their continued military force is targeting terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, Haley said.

The United States has "drafted a new cease-fire resolution that provides no room for evasion. It is simple, straightforward, and binding. It will take effect immediately upon adoption by this Council. It contains no counter-terrorism loopholes for Assad, Iran and the Russians to hide behind," she said.

Some reports show nearly 1,000 people have died around Eastern Ghouta since February.

"If we can't save families that haven't seen the sun for weeks because they have been hiding underground to escape barrel bombs, then the Security Council is as impotent as its worst critics say it is," Haley said.

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